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May 10, 2001 Purchase orders go online




by Barbara Black

You can do your banking and make your airline reservations online. At Concordia, you can order books from the Concordia Bookstore and put in work orders online. Now—or in some cases, soon—you can put in purchasing documents online, too.

The advantages of this innovation are obvious to anyone who has waited while a paper purchase requisition circulates around the campus, going through various stages of approval. Now, not only will most purchasing documents be approved in seconds, your departmental budget will automatically be updated. There’s also no need to distribute copies of forms to Accounts Payable, Distribution and Purchasing Services—it is done automatically.

The system applies to purchase requisitions, minor purchase orders (under $1,000) and release authorizations (purchases made under a general contract with a vendor).

Systems Analyst Mike Svensson, in Processes, Systems and Policies, reports that Purchasing Services first selected test sites such as Chemistry and Biochemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Utilities and Energy Conservation for feedback.

They then targeted high-volume areas of the university as the first users. These include Purchasing, Library administration, Continuing Education, Facilities Management, and certain departments in the Faculties of Arts and Science and Engineering and Computer Science. More units will come on-line this summer and fall.

The Banner Roll-out Team, comprised of members from Purchasing Services, PSP and IITS have had positive feedback so far from many users, according to Luc Métras, Senior Systems Analyst in IITS. “It involves the installation of some software, and this is intended for PC, but it can also run on a virtual PC platform on the Mac.”

The roll-out is part of the Banner financial system implementation. Some training is required before starting to enter documents online. According to Nick Doulas, Supervisor, Administrative and Support Services in Purchasing Services, two or three training sessions are required. Please contact Mike Svensson (3731), Nick Doulas (3629) or Luc Métras (7673) should you wish to obtain additional information on this project.